Don't Fall Off The Treadmill

*originally posted on 12th & Broad 

I recently joined a boot camp style workout program to rid myself of the baby fat. Oh, and because I do enjoy being healthy but let me be real and honest, my main focus is to get rid of these pockets aka side handles. In my first class I was instructed to the stationary bike, the weights, and then to the treadmill. As the trainer continued moving people around to different stations she stood by the treadmill and maneuvered the controls for me. She elevated the incline and increased my speed, so I would run, and then decreased my speed and elevation so I would walk. That repeated for what felt like forever but what actually boiled down to about 5-7 minutes. As I gasped for breath and reached for the sides to maintain my balance I realized this was so much like my business. Running, almost falling off, letting go of the sides when you had your momentum, losing breath, and then pacing. This was my rhythm.

While the epiphany was short lived, because I had to catch my breath, it was so relevant to my work as an entrepreneur. I am always moving as I think many of us are. But it begs the question, are we always moving towards productivity?

About three years ago I came to the realization that everyone wanted to do coffee dates and hang out in local coffee shops. That year was horrible for my accounting—because it was too expensive to pretend to be Carrie of Sex & The City, and it was just downright unproductive. I was moving, literally every week my calendar was full, but I was stuck and my business wasn't reflecting any progress. I stopped having those 'meetings'.

That treadmill reminded me that I made the right decision. It confirmed that I should only move when I have a goal. In boot camp my goal is to lose weight, create a healthy lifestyle, and adopt more discipline. In my business, it is to remain consistent and provide quality service with a boutique experience. While I feel I nearly died in that class I left feeling closer to my goal.

So what's the trick for accomplishing a goal? Write it down. My coaching clients have heard me say a hundred times, "for every wall in your office, you should have a white board." Those boards help to isolate a goal, flesh it out, and check off items when they have been completed. It is an accountability system.

So here is my task for you. Create a vision board that will help you outline your business or personal brand goals. If you don't feel like writing, the great thing is that there are mobile apps that will help you create a digital board. Include goals in as many areas as you'd like but don't forget income/finances, community work, amount of projects/speaking engagements/clients, social media presence, publicity opportunities, and partnerships/relationships. And to hold yourself accountable, be sure to include some "must complete by" dates and share your vision board with someone you trust.

I went to a trainer because I needed help. If you need help with your business or personal brand, ask. Feel free to send me a question about one of your goals and you may just find the answer published in an upcoming article. Send your question to with the subject: I need help with my brand.

Cheers to more productive goals and not falling off the treadmill!

Kia Jarmon is creator of brand depth + facilitator of ideas + curator of conversation + sculptor of stories at boutique PR and brand strategy firm MEPR Agency. She also loves connecting businesses & people to their heartbeat and coaches them through a Brand Mapping program, where they navigate their brand compass. Kia is a 25 year life-time member of Girl Scouts and daily she lives by the promise "on my honor I will try…to help people at all times". Kia is also a new mommy to a handsome son. She resides in Donelson.You can find more or